BP Pressure Tests To Continue Today
The efforts to fully cap the gusher continue with tests to ensure that the existing cap is holding, integrity is good and that there are no other leaks.
Critical test to continue Saturday in fight to contain oil spill
By the CNN Wire Staff
July 17, 2010 3:18 a.m. EDT
New Orleans, Louisiana (CNN) -- BP will continue crucial testing Saturday to determine whether a new containment cap will keep stopping oil from gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.
On Friday, the containment cap left some, including President Barack Obama, cautiously optimistic after it seemed to stop the massive flow of oil.
BP officials were still analyzing tests on the containment cap Friday and were uncertain about whether there was a leak in the well.
Thad Allen, who's overseeing the government's response to the oil spill, said Friday that pressure was rising in the well. That was a sign that the well was holding and that the leak that had been spewing oil into the Gulf for nearly three months could be contained.
But pressure readings had not reached the optimal level.
So far, so good.
From Business Week:
BP Well Tests Show No Signs of Damage After Stopping Oil Flow
July 17, 2010, 12:20 AM EDT
More than 24 hours of data from pressure tests, seismic surveys and temperature gauges indicate the integrity of the well may be intact and the amount of oil in the reservoir is being depleted after three months of flowing into the Gulf of Mexico. There is no evidence of hidden leaks, Kent Wells, BP’s senior vice president for exploration and production, said on a conference call with reporters yesterday.
"The pressure buildup we're seeing is consistent with the modeling we did around reservoir depletion and full integrity," Wells said. "The longer we model these trends, the more we'll convince ourselves that that's actually the case."
Pressure inside the well rose slowly yesterday to 6,720 pounds per square inch from 6,700 pounds per square inch at the start of the day, an encouraging sign that the well may have escaped damage following an April 20 explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, Wells said.
The company planned to continue the tests for at least another six hours, and perhaps longer, Wells said. BP and a team of government officials and scientists are reviewing the data to decide whether they can keep the cap sealed until BP finishes drilling the relief wells that will be used to permanently plug the leak with mud and cement next month.